Set in the near future, this Swedish film starring Noomi Rapace, hits too close to home given recent events. Images of bombed cities and dead civilians are all too real now.
The plot is basic. Noomi and a small team must get a secret weapon to a research facility inconveniently (or conveniently as a writer) located behind enemy lines but luckily, or not depending on which disposable character you are, the water between here and there has frozen for the first time in 37 years and—while not strong enough for a vehicle (which I assume included a snowmobile?) it can be skated.
Yes, most of the movie is the team skating to their objective. I told my wife that’s one thriller angle I hadn’t come up with. I’ve got action on the ice in Eternity Base, set in Antarctica, but no skating, sorry. Skis, since I learned to skin 10th Speical Forces Group. We were the Special Forces oriented toward cold and mountain. We got paid to do things civilian do for fun, then we made it miserable by strapping on 100 pound rucks and deploying to places that weren’t vacation spots.
I remember when we deployed one time and I had to find out how thick the ice had to be to land a Blackhawk helicopter. Turned out the guys flying them in the Nightstalkers at the time, didn’t know either so I had to talk to Sikorsky. It was a lot of ice.
Anyway, the movie. Off they skate.
Things happen, people die. Standard thriller fare. None of the characters really jump out. After it was over, as a writer, I had a feeling that some scenes that might have punched things up were cut. The loop with the missing daughter of the protagonist, which was dangled as the carrot to get her to go on what she immediately called a suicide mission, wasn’t closed. There were several flashbacks to her, but then . . . . nothing. I suspected she was in those lockers in the facility at the end but none are opened. But it is a biological weapon research facility. On an island. Seems that— well, nothing is done with that.
This film works if you want to watch what those of who’ve served, and everyone else too for that matter, knows: war is hell. It’s often pointless. Does it prove who is right?
There is also a fundamental flaw with all biological weapons—they are indiscriminate in who they kill. Unless you have, like a vaccine? But that’s never touched on. Besides we now know many people don’t want to get vaccinated, which, like ice skating to the objective, was something I hadn’t thought about when I predicted an inevitable pandemic years ago, because, well, anyone with a brain knows pandemics are inevitable. (Yes, we will have another, but hey, we aren’t even out of this one yet). BTW—how to deal with biological warfare? HERE.
The ending brought to mind the old Lord of the Rings cliché: if the eagles could rescue Frodo and Sam on Mount Doom why the hell couldn’t they have just flown him there in the first place and tossed him in and rid the world of a great trilogy?
So. Can’t really recommend this one.